I've known addicts.
Alcohol. Crack. Heroin. That does not make me particularly experienced with addicts. I would guess that nearly everyone in America has known an addict or two whether or not they realize it.
The addicts that I knew were addicts, were all sympathetic characters. They tried to erase their mistakes to the point of torturing themselves. They knew their weaknesses. They vowed a changed life.
Then there is Charlie Sheen.
Sheen, deep beneath his truther, foul, delusional, confrontational, denying, abusive, unappreciative, and indulgent varnish, might be a marginally tolerable person. Really, to his credit, armed with only a stuffed wallet and a closet full of opiates, he is consistently able to attract some of the more opportunistic porn stars on the west coast for epic drug binges that can last for days. So, he has that going for him.
Personally, I find Sheen to be perhaps the most unconvincing actor on television since Jerry Seinfeld. And yet, Seinfeld's lack of acting moxie was part of his series' charm and success. Not so with Sheen.
Paid well over $1 million an episode to shove his expressionless face in front of a camera, his salary would seem to be, at least to the casual observer, more than adequate, and it might even generate the merest level of gratitude among the rest of us who command a lot less money and who can actually make a believable expression when the checkbook gets close to overdrawn. Alas, this does not seem to be the case with Charlie.
More power to Sheen for the money he has been able to command. Really. I am a free market kind of guy, and if the free market has deemed that Sheen is worthy of money enough to buy a suitcase full of illegalities every week, so be it. I don't complain about his salary or that of Alex Rodriguez, Bill Gates, or Madonna. (I do bristle a bit when a dork like Ben Affleck, paid $13 million for his role in Gigli, complains about the money earned by those who make their money in business.)
But Sheen represents all that is wrong with Hollywood. He seems completely oblivious to the wide trail blazed by his father for him. He seems unappreciative of the breaks he has gotten, unaware of the blind luck often involved in the success of any career, and so presumptuous about his worthiness of all things good and extravagant that he lacks the vision to veer from a disastrous course.
He is a guy too ensconced in Hollywood glitter to see the world in real terms, and his vocational narcissism is even more complicated by juicy parasitic porn harlots willing to share in both the laughs and the endless lines of thin white powder.
He is a train slowly crashing in front of the world; a redeemable person worthy of redemption, yet too shallow by circumstances and too addled by a compromised bloodstream to even care much.
He is smarter than everyone, wiser than everyone, braver than everyone, more worthy that everyone, more popular than everyone, and more wronged by all the wrong people. And, if he doesn't soon figure out he's not quite as clever as he believes himself to be, he's going to become prematurely cold as a canned mackerel.
It is really sad. I hope someone can make him listen.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I've known addicts.